The birth story! 

On Friday, January 22nd, I was 40 weeks and 6 days. I had been having sporadic birthing waves here and there for a while. One night, they were coming every 5 minutes, but they were not very intense, and they fizzled out by morning. It had been a few days since then, and not much else had happened.  I had my weekly appointment with my midwife that morning. I was debating back and forth on whether I wanted my midwife to do a membrane sweep. I finally decided to go for it.  With 2 of my other babies, it didn’t do anything to start me. With my 4th baby, I had him in my arms 5 hours later!  

At first she wondered if my water had broken (yes, one of the risks) but thankfully, it had not. Whew.  That would have been rough.  Again, one of the risks..oops.  Thankfully, I was able to go home after a 20 minute stretch on the monitors, just to make sure baby’s heartrate looked good, etc. He “passed the test” within the first 5 minutes. I had about one birthing wave during that time.

I decided to go straight home, because of my experience last time.  With my last baby, I had a membrane sweep  and then went and got a pedicure. On the way home, the waves started coming frequently, and by the time I got to my friend’s house to pick up my kids, I basically turned back around and went to the hospital, barely making it there before the baby came!  So this time, I went straight home. But things were not happening in the same way (they never really do, right?) I wasn’t really having any pressure waves at all. I started to think that maybe it wasn’t going to work this time around. And that was okay. I could wait.

I made sure that I had most everything packed in my bag and my kids' bag for the big day, and just did normal stuff the rest of the day. I did do some energy work to set the intention for my body to release oxytocin and my cervix to dialate.  I gave myself positive affirmations and focused on welcoming this event, even though sometimes a little nervousness creeps in. I listened to my Hypnobabies tracks- mostly the positive affirmations to keep everything feeling good, happy, normal, and exciting.

Around 6 pm, I started to feel a little cramping.  It made me wonder, but I also knew that I could still feel crampy just because of the procedure, but have it not really start anything. So I noticed it, but it didn’t make me think too much.

Around 9:45 pm , I went and laid down by my 1 yr old who had gotten a little restless. I put on my Hypnobabies track – Easy First Stage.  I noticed that something was happening about every 10 minutes. I wrote down a few “times” starting around 10 o'clock.  They weren’t very strong, but I could feel the tightening and releasing of my uterus if I paid attention.  But this had been happening for a while, so nothing was convincing me yet.

About an hour later, they started to get stronger. That was exciting.  But still not too convincing.  I had listened to Easy First Stage and Birthing Day affirmations while laying down.  I decided to get up because I remembered that I needed to print out another copy of my birth plan, and put a charm on my birth necklace. :) This would be my third baby with my group of midwives, so they already pretty much knew me and knew that I birthed without medication. So, I had written some fun things up in my birth plan.  I said that my sister-in-laws were there to support, take pictures, and to also bring the palm leaves and grapes. I explained that I wanted to labor in different positions....included yoga poses like Downward Dog.  I also welcomed glitter and interpretive dancing.  (This was all in there, along with all my serious preferences. I just added in some things for fun, to make them smile.)

After I made sure I printed out my birth plan, I tried to lay back down and I was surprised at how strong they were when I laid down. So it felt better to be up and moving around. 

As I timed my waves, they were kinda all over the place.  10 minutes, 8 minutes, 5 minutes, 17 minutes….which was weird to me because I’ve never been like that. They have usually started out spaced out, then they gradually get closer and closer together.  So… I had no idea if something was going to happen, or if I was just going to have a practice session. But then, even though they were farther apart, they started to get intense, so that I need to breath and sway during them. 

At about 1 am, I decided to officially time them.  And I got all my final preparations ready, just in case. You will see in the picture below, how random my waves were!  They were like this for about an hour and a half:


Then, at 2:28 am, I started had waves that were 3 minutes apart. And they were intense. I knew that I wanted a little bit more time at the hospital, than the last time, so I wondered if I should go ahead and get ready to go. I called my doula, not really convinced, but I wanted to give her a heads-up. I told her that if it kept happening, I’d let her know that we were on our way. 

Well, they kept happening, 3-4 minutes apart, so I called our babysitter, Kristie at abo-ut 2:50. I texted my 2 sister in laws, Amanda and Whitney, who were for sure coming. I also texted Niki to see if she could come. At this point, my birthing waves were extremely powerful and I told everyone to hurry. Kristie, Amanda and Whitney all showed up and we gathered our bags and got in our cars.  Whitney rode with me in our mini van and Amanda followed.

I could NOT sit down in the van.  So I just crossed my fingers and prayed that we’d get there safely, because I had to turn around and lean on the back of the captain seat.  When a birthing wave came. I’d put my feet on the floor and rock through the wave. Whitney was great and rubbed my back and gave me positive words of encouragement.  By this time, my phone had died.  It usually gets all charged up overnight, but since there had been no “night” yet, it was dead.  I neeeeded my tracks, so was grateful that we had a speaker in the car and we were able to hook it back up to a speaker and the car charger. Ahhh…. Positive birthing day affirmations. I was so grateful they were on again.

We called my doula and midwife when we were about 15 minutes from the hospital, so that they could meet us there.  It was a great relief to make it to the hospital and not have the baby in the car. Haha.  It was 4:15 am. We walked in and they asked if I wanted a wheelchair. The last time, I had regretted not getting one, but this time, I did not want to sit, so I said no again. At least I was feeling like I had given myself a little more time at the hospital this time around.

We went into the hospital room, and I told the nurse that I had called my midwife and she was on her way.  The nurse seemed a little hesitant and told me that first they needed to put me on the monitors, check me, get a blood pressure, etc, etc.  I told her that I was pretty sure this baby was coming quickly and that I had barely made it to the hospital with the last one.  My midwife walked in about then, so we were good to go. My doula, Robyn, walked in right after.

I’m kinda funny during the end of my birthing time.  I feel like I kept asking them over and over if the *really* thought I was getting close.  Did they really think I was more than 3 cm dialated? :) Finally, they convinced me that I had to be pretty far along, that I was doing great, and the baby would come soon. I had asked for the tub to be filled so that I could get in.  When I asked them if they thought I should use the tub, they told me that I probably wouldn’t be in there for long. I could get in if I wanted to, but I might have to get right out and then I’d be wet and cold.  I wish our hospital allowed water births, because that would have been great.  But since they don’t, and since I want the midwives to continue to be able to assist women at that hospital, I like to support them in keeping the rules. :)  All my “on land” births have been great anyway, so I knew I would be fine. My midwife offered to check me, and I was curious as to where I was, so at first I agreed. Then I told her that there was no way I was going to lay down on the bed and she said, "That's just fine. We don't need to check you." And she threw her glove away.  I was never checked before baby was born. :)  I am SO grateful for Hypnobabies Open-Eyes Hypnosis. This was a MOVING birth.  With my other births, I did a variety of things.  I sat on the ball, I laid on my side, soaked it the tub, etc. With this birth. I was moving and rocking the entire time. Staying still was more uncomfortable.  I laugh now, because apparently I provided the interpretive dancing at my own birth.  I was a-movin and a-swayin. I truly believe that we can follow our bodies during labor.  Interestingly I rocked forward and back most of the time, instead of side to side. I also did a lot more hip circles.  I love that Hypnobabies Hypnosis helps so that I can have the birth I want and be an active part in listening to what my baby and body need. 

I felt like my husband was right there by my side the entire time.  He was rubbing my back and he made sure that I was drinking. He’s gotten really good at supporting me during my birthing time!  He’s a pro now, with it being our 5th kid. :)  It’s neat for me to have such great support from him.  Robyn was on my other side, helping me through my birthing waves. Reminding me of my cues, and reminding me of all the things we had talked about previously. I really wanted to focus on the sacredness of birth, and she helped to remind me of that. My sister-in-laws were also there cheering me on, telling me how amazing I am, etc. That is why I bring them. :) They also rub my back and they were in charge of pictures and video.  Which I love having of my births. 

I loved using my Hypnobabies cues! I had really wanted to remember to try and use everything, but I always seem to pick a few favorites, and I don't mean to leave anything out, but end up with a rhythm I just keep doing. So when a birthing wave came, I'd do my finger drop and take a big breath and would say, "Peace." My birthing team was assigned to put their hands on my head or shoulder and to say "Relax." so that's basically what we did the entire time. My doula also reminded me to say "Peace."  Meanwhile I had the tracks playing out loud in the background.

I did opt to get a hep-loc, because I have had a little history of bleeding after the birth, so we wanted to have that in place in case I needed Pitocin. With the last baby, we did intense fundal massage, then Pitocin, then methergin. The fundal massage left me in a lot of pain for several weeks, so this time I wanted to avoid that by having an IV of Pitocin, if needed.

Pretty soon, the intensity was getting lower and lower and I felt like pushing would come soon.  I climbed onto the bed on my hands and knees and rocked through my birthing waves. I just knew that pushing would come soon, and I tried to follow my body’s signals.  I started to get a little impatient, knowing it was just around the corner, but not quite there yet.  I’m not sure that anyone noticed, but I was thinking it in my mind. Hahah. I think I might have kept saying, “Come on baby. Come on baby.” That must have been when I was in transformation. 

Finally, it was time to push.  Yay! I pushed a couple of times, and because some of my babies came so quickly, I said, “Can you see his head?”  I don’t remember getting an answer, so I’m thinking that was a “no.”  :) This baby was going to come out a little more gently.

My doula and midwife reminded me that I had wanted to turn around to my side, so that I could reach down and get my baby.  At first I hesitated because I have loved delivering on my knees, but I knew I would regret it, if I didn’t turn. I’m so glad I did. I got on my side and was comfortable there too. 

It took a few more pushes than I thought it would (just because my last baby slipped out.) So that was kinda funny. It was totally okay, just different than I had planned. At one point, while his head was crowning,  I stopped for a minute. I remember thinking. Should I just keep pushing and get him out, or should I wait for another birthing wave? Maybe that will be more productive?”  And it’s funny cause everyone else was wondering why I had stopped. They encouraged me to push, and so I did, and his head came on out!  They reminded me to reach down, and I did and brought my baby up to meet me at 5:09 am. Just less than a hour after we had arrived. Oh, I was sooooo happy!!  I kept saying, “We did it! We did it! We did it”  That is seriously the most joyful moment of life.  Accomplishing a birth! Having that new baby in your arms! It’s so wonderful. Sigh.  Oh the rush of joy! He was sooo cute!  He looked like a couple of my other babies.  Dark hair, heavy eyelids, he was sooo sweet!  We waited for the cord to stop pulsating and then my husband cut it.  Baby started nursing right away. We hoped that would help with bleeding too.  I birthed the placenta easily and everything was great.  I did start bleeding a little too much, so we went ahead and started the Pitocin.  That worked out perfectly and my recovery has not been painful at all. I was so grateful.

The nurses were so gentle and respectful.  Baby did not get any unnecessary suctioning or rubbing and we were able to cuddle for quite a while.  They gave us the time we wanted before they came back and weighed him. He was 8 lbs 15 ounces and 21 inches.  They also exclaimed that he had a big head, at 14 inches. :) He was my biggest baby, and oh so cute and squishy!  I had such a wonderful birth experience and am so grateful to my awesome birth team for supporting me and helping to make the experience such a perfect one! Evenmy doula brought me gold glitter. She's the best!

 

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